Detroit’s T.J. Lang is ready to get back to football.
The nine-year right guard sustained what’s at least the fifth concussion of his career against Dallas on Sept. 30. Lang was out for two weeks, and after seeing multiple specialists returned to practice Wednesday.
On Thursday, Lang cleared concussion protocol and spoke to the media about his decision to return.
“Just trying to gather information on, obviously there’s a lot of studies going around about former players and whatnot, CTE stuff,” Lang said, via ESPN. “Just trying to gather as much information as I can. How accurate, is it being overblown in the media? Is it accurate? What’s going on? But the biggest question I had was do you guys feel safe, do you think I’ll be safe to return once I’m fully back healthy and I think most of them said yes.
“That gave me a lot of comfort knowing that, hey, when this thing is all settled and gone, then basically hit the reset button and continue to play.”
Lang, who signed a three-year contract with the Lions in 2017, added some experts “had different opinions,” but most of specialists said it would be OK to keep playing. He consulted with doctors and neurologists before deciding to come back.
“There were some tough conversations for sure, but it is what it is, man,” Lang said. “You got to have those conversations, really, no matter what injury you have, you’re always worried obviously if it happens again and future consequence but I think the biggest thing was I feel like I have a lot of teammates in this locker room that are counting on me to be out there and play and play at the highest level.
“That’s something that has always driven me and will continue to drive me. I don’t know if it’s not the brightest way to look at it when you’re comparing your health but at the same time, it’s really all I know and I want to be known as a dependable guy.”
Lang is expected to move back into his starting role when Detroit travels to Miami to face the Dolphins. The two-time Pro Bowl player started 13 games last season for Detroit.